The legacy of Former President Barak Obama is at risk and he’s come out swinging to protect it.
If politics is like baseball, then former presidents might be the retired team captains who watch the game comfortably from the best sky boxes. They (usually) don’t meddle in how the teams and team captains are playing. Occasionally, they step out on the field to throw a ceremonial pitch, but that’s it.
Obama is bucking this norm to protect his legacy. Apparently, the game isn’t going in the favor of his team, with strikeouts during the 2016 election and 2017 special elections. The team captains and management can’t get a handle on the situation and the next inning will decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act. Obama is coming out on the field
Last night, the former president posted a lengthy defense of his signature legislation:
The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.
Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm.
If this isn’t fanning the alarmist flames, I don’t know what is.
Obama is sending a message to older Americans, young women, and sick Americans that repeal efforts will be to their detriment, when in fact, the number of health insurance companies pulling out of the exchanges has left 1 in 3 counties nationwide with just one insurer on the exchange leading to longer wait times and worse care. In 45 counties, there are no insurers anymore at all. Obama also neglects that his healthcare reform is dying because the system is collapsing on itself.
Obama talked of the meanness of repeal, but minimized the meanness of cancelled plans, tax penalties for not carrying coverage, and cost increases for those who have coverage.
The aim of repeal efforts are to provide American families with relief from skyrocketing premiums and out-of-pocket costs, mandates, and fewer choices. Older women will especially benefit from lower costs through repeal of the ACA.
IWF policy director Hadley Heath Manning explains what the Senate bill actually does in the Washington Examiner:
Like the House bill, the Senate bill will repeal the individual and employer mandates, expand HSAs, repeal most of the ACA's taxes, and importantly, allow states to opt out of the Essential Health Benefits (federal rules that force everyone to pay more money for certain services even if they do not need them), but keeps the age-26 rule, and guaranteed issue (the requirement that insurers offer policies to everyone).
Former President Obama has watched the undoing of his progressive agenda of the past eight years in the five months that President Trump has been in office. From pulling out of the Paris climate change agreement to the repeal of Dodd-Frank financial regulations, this administration and Congress are on an aggressive path to free the private sector from Washington’s grip.
President Obama has a very personal interest in keeping this part of his legacy in tact. We can read between the lines that he knows the days of Obamacare are numbered and he’ll go the extra mile to save it.